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GLIN==> Lighthouse news from Marquette, Mich.



The Marquette Maritime Museum has concluded an
agreement with the US Coast Guard for the lease of the Marquette Harbor
Lighthouse. The historic lease is for 30-year period and includes not only
the lighthouse but also approximately 2  acres of Lighthouse Point.

The agreement has been in process for several years and marks a crucial step
in Museum development. Although the lighthouse is presently an empty
building, the Museum will be offering tours once the Museum opens in May.
Because visitors must walk through the grounds of the Coast Guard station to
reach the lighthouse, Museum guides will escort all tours, a requirement of
the Coast Guard for safety and security.

There are plans to develop the lighthouse as an integral interpretive
display as an extension of the main building of the museum and eventually
restoring one floor to reflect a period of the life of the light and
lightkeepers.

Museum board president Frederick Stonehouse stated, "Acquiring the
lighthouse is a tremendous achievement. It is a win - win for everyone. The
Coast Guard no longer has to maintain property they don't need and the
people of Marquette, through the Museum, gain control of this most important
part of our history."

Up until four years ago after the building was renovated, Coast Guard
members and their families lived on two floors of the structure, which were
intended as a family dwelling for the lightkeepers of an earlier era. The
museum board plans to restore the interiors to more accurately reflect the
lighthouse history. The Coast Guard will continue to operate the light in
the tower as an aid to navigation and an important sentinel for Great Lakes
mariners. According to Fred, "The lighthouse will continue to guide ships
into and out of Marquette Harbor just as it has for 136 years."

The Museum will open for the 2002 season on May 15.


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